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Poll panel yet to declare date for Presidential polls

KABUL: The Independent Election Commission says decision over announcement of the exact date of presidential election has not been finalized, though it was to announce it on Thursday.

Mirza Mohammad Haqparast, a spokesman of the commission said Friday that consultations with political parties, electoral watchdogs, civil society, government and international community were going on over the decision.

“After gathering a total image and viewpoint, the commission will publicly announce whether the previous date will be good or the election should be held with one month, two months or more delays. No final decision has been made yet,” said Haqparast.

Another commission spokesman, Zabi Sadat said earlier the polls would be held with a 75-day delay, while the initial announcement set the date for April 20.

Former national security adviser and one of possible runners for presidency, Hanif Atmar accused the government of interference in the electoral works to take advantage from the process.

Bashir Ahmad Tah Ynech, a spokesman for the Jonbesh-e-Melli (National Movement) led by first vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum, said the party would accept a conditional delay in the election date.

“If the delay is for basic reforms and electoral transparency, we support that,” said Tah Yench.

The independent election commission rejects any allegations over being pressured by the government.

Omid Maisam, spokesman of the chief executive, said the government was responsible to provide budget and security for the election. “We hope that election be held on April 20, and this is the election commission’s job if it brings some delays.” Around 50 people have so far received information packages about the election from the commission. The packages are distributed to candidates.

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